DNS Belgium Warns Watch Out For Similar Domain Names

[news release] We recently received reports detailing a far-reaching type of fraud. The fraudsters reserve a domain name that strongly resembles the actual domain name of a web shop and build an accurate replica of the site of this web shop. Then they offer the same products but at rock-bottom prices. Of course, these products don’t actually exist and the visitors of the site are defrauded.

This aggressive form of fraud is detrimental both to users and the owner of the actual web shop. The user pays for a non-existing product and will, in all likelihood, never see his money again. In addition, the actual web shop owner may suffer reputational damage due to the fraudsters posing as the company in question.

What can you do about it?

We would advise all users to be extra careful. When products are offered at (incredibly) low prices, it’s usually too good to be true. When in doubt regarding the authenticity of a site, you can always try to contact the shop by calling the number listed on the website. In case of fraud this number will often not be connected, which is a first indication of possible fraud. You can also look up the domain name in question via our site. Just click through on the WHOIS information. If this information lists a different company altogether, possibly with a foreign address, then this is yet another indication of fraud.

It is also a good idea to note which payment system the website is using. Reliable web shops generally use an equally reliable payment provider (e.g. Ogone – now Ingenico Payment Services) or a known online payment system (e.g. PayPal). Also remember to check whether the URL of the page where you are entering your card data is secure: http becomes https (s for ‘secure’).

Are you the owner of a .be domain name for, say, a web shop? Then you can use our variant check free of charge. This tool checks our .be database for domain names that resemble yours. This will make it easy for you to detect possible fraud.

Are you the victim of fraud? If so, you may consider using the alternative dispute settlement procedure. Incidentally, in case of a favourable outcome, DNS Belgium will reimburse the cost of this procedure.

This DNS Belgium announcement was sourced from: